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HealthLeaders: Groundbreaking study: 84% of women aged 50+ are unaware of menopause's oral health impacts

HealthLeaders - As payers operationalize responses to social drivers of health (SDOH)—such as food, housing and income insecurity—there are factors that precede and span these challenges: gender and age.

Ignoring these factors can impact outcomes, including for oral health. A first-of-its-kind study from Delta Dental revealed that 84% of women aged 50 and over are not aware that menopause, oral health, and dental discomfort are connected.

Breaking the Stigma

These and other surprising results are included in the dental plan's  2023 Senior Oral Health and Menopause Report: Breaking the StigmaDelta Dental commissioned Atomik Research to conduct the July 2023 survey and to perform analysis in partnership with The Bliss Group.

In its press release for the study, Delta Dental describes how this lesser-known connection makes dentists "a prime, untapped resource for women navigating it." The release adds that while 70% of women 50 and older have experienced at least one oral health symptom since their menopause symptoms began, few have raised the topic with their dental providers: only 2% with their dentists and only 1% with their dental hygienists.

"With menopause a long-stigmatized topic and symptoms going largely unaddressed or even ignored, these findings are stark but unsurprising," says Sarah Chavarria, CEO and president of Delta Dental of California and Affiliates. "Despite the knowledge gaps revealed in this survey, sentiments about menopause are beginning to shift, and women are eager to break the stigma."

Read the full article in HealthLeaders.